First Day at Terranea

“During your interview you and your portfolio were the most polished out of all the candidates. We could tell you were passionate about your experiences and designs when you started talking about them.”

Today was my full first day in the marketing office at Terranea, and I can already tell that I’m going to like working here. The office is great, the view is amazing, free food for days, funny coworkers, and lastly, the projects. The projects are exactly what I love to do, and they include every aspect of the design process, not just boring proof checks and copy edits. Since I brought up my fashion magazine background, they made me in charge of the creative direction for the resort’s clothing boutique! I’m very excited to start my career here for many reasons. Finally I’m at a place where people understand my passions and background, regardless of what major I studied or my experience. 

I have my first marketing meeting tomorrow! Wish me luck.

This weekend, I'm walking the stage

I actually graduated 6 months ago, but I’m walking the stage at the Bren on Sunday. I kept my (under the table) part time job in Newport Beach, just so I had an excuse to visit people that were important to me every single week. Of course it was expected that I should start looking for a full time job, and I did, but it was the hardest 6 months emotionally.

It was a blessing and a curse to be unemployed.

I first interviewed with an engineering firm for a graphic intern position. I got through HR and had an interview with higher ups. They asked if I was going to go back to school to get relevant education on what I wanted pursue. I said yes, but then they seemed disinterested after that, I assumed they found someone with a graphics degree already. I didn’t get any response from them after the interview. I felt defeated.

The day after, I interviewed for a Web Manager position for a fashion wholesale company located in Downtown LA. I came in confident, because it was an industry I actually had interest in, and I had relevant experience. It was a really easy interview, the manager asked what my expected salary and I gave him a number. I get an email later that day with the offer, but the pay was totally unfair, just because I didn’t major in what I wanted to do. I cried that night because I didn’t know what I wanted. I needed to get my foot into the fashion industry somehow, but I didn’t want to make my parents and boyfriend unhappy. I rejected the offer and regretted it.

This was when I started freaking out. Two interviews made me felt like I wouldn’t make it in marketing and graphic design. I like business, but I don’t think I could sit at an office my whole life analyzing numbers and doing economic calculations. I fell in love with the creative side of business, but my school didn’t offer any major related. I started sending out apps for business economics related jobs, and no responses at all. I had no experience.

I then got an interview for a graphic design position for a more well known fashion company. However, during the interview I found out that the position was at a senior level, and I wondered how did I even get to this stage. The e-commerce manager loved me, I could tell, but I did not have as many years of experience compared to the other candidate that got picked. I was in the top 2, and I didn’t get the offer. She told me I would make it far in the fashion industry with my passion and I should be proud that I made it to the final decision. This did help me stay motivated for a design and fashion job, but I still felt like it would take me forever to be good enough for it. I considered going to FIDM, and pay for it myself, but then my parents would have thought that I wasted all their money for a useless degree at UCI.

My boyfriend ends up getting a job in San Diego, and I felt this pressure move there and find something in order to be happy. At the time I thought all I wanted to pursue was something in the fashion industry, and what sucked was that the opportunities in San Diego for that type of career was rare. I applied for a few things, got a response for an internship for an e-commerce company, but was disheartened when they said it would be unpaid. I decided I would live with my parents and just find a job here in LA, and attempt this long distance relationship thing.
My parents started saying that I was doing nothing at home, when honestly I kept myself busy. My dad also called me immature at one point, and that I need to grow up. This is when I started applying to random industries, fashion or not, I just needed a job for experience and to basically tell my parents that I can do things on my own.

A month ago, a resort close to home contacted me back for an initial phone interview for the marketing communication designer position. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue with this because my boyfriend got his job offer transferred to a closer office. Our original plan was to get jobs in the OC and live together. The whole hiring process for this company took forever, it kept me anxious. I did the phone interview and right after I got asked to come in for an interview with the marketing department. That one was easy breezy, and I got asked to do a design test, and then after, I was requested to come in to interview with the Vice President of Marketing. Everyone said my portfolio and I stood out from all the candidates, and my skills will only make the company better, and guess what? I got the offer. The pay was good, the benefits were great, and the location was amazing. I couldn’t decline it.

So in two weeks I will be working in the Sales & Marketing Department at a place where people spend hundreds to vacation. The job hunt is over and I’m finally stable. My interviewing skills got better since the first, I was able to sell myself as skilled even though I didn’t really major in my field. For those who are about to graduate without a job lined up or still looking for jobs, let me tell you it was quite a journey. You may land one pretty quick, like how I did, but don’t take it just because you’re desperate. You’ll find the right job, just don’t give up. Take advantage of all the free time you have while job hunting.

I found one just in time for my commencement, I feel pretty damn accomplished.